THE BEST HOME SPERM TESTS
Male infertility accounts for at least 40% of conception difficulties in couples. Male home sperm tests are therefore becoming more popular.
You will learn:
How does it work?
First, a sterile collection cup is used to ejaculate into. Then the semen is placed into a testing bottle containing a fertility reagent test solution. The semen must first liquify for 20-30 minutes, because it is ejaculated too viscous for analysis.
Following test-specific instructions, drops of the mixed solution are placed onto a testing device OR on a plastic sheet to be placed under the microscope.
The test-strip method
Test strip-based home sperm tests are designed to measure the concentration of sperm within a semen sample. This is done by identifying and analysing protein unique to sperm.
On the test-strip results are interpreted after a set time period, usually after around seven minutes. This is similar to a home-based pregnancy test.
A positive result suggests that sperm count is in the “normal” range. This is defined by the World Health Organisation as 20 million sperm or more per milliliter of semen.
Exact sperm numbers are not determined nor are any other sperm quality parameters such as 5 normal shapes or movement; instead these tests only indicate whether sperm count is within or outside the normal range – indeed a very limited approach.
The microscope method
The microscope-based home sperm test is more sophisticated. It allows for an estimate of sperm movement / motility and can therefore give a more conclusive indication of overall sperm quality. Crucially, it can be reused several times.
Analysing sperm quality over the space of several weeks is strongly recommended in order to average out significantly unusual results.
The Best Home Sperm Tests
ExSeed Home Sperm Test
We compared a range of products available on the UK and EU market, and the clear winner was the ExSeed home sperm test. ExSeed is one of a new generation of products which provides microscopic analysis using your smartphone. This allows you to record a video of your sperm cells and receive an expert analysis of your sample.
ExSeed provides men with a particularly comprehensive sperm analysis by measuring semen volume, sperm count and sperm motility and combining these to produce an overall semen health score. It is a CE certified product and it has a high level of accuracy of over 95%.
ExSeed works with a smartphone app and men can receive personalised lifestyle advice to improve their sperm health based on their results. ExSeed is the most expensive product in our comparison but this does include 5 tests. The testing system itself is also reusable with refill kits, therefore this is a worthwhile investment if you are planning to analyse your sperm regularly to see the effects of positive lifestyle changes.
Micra First Step Sperm Test
The Micra sperm test by First Step provides a comprehensive microscopic analysis of sperm by analysing semen volume, sperm count and sperm motility. Micra measures the same parameters as ExSeed but it does not use a smartphone and it is less expensive.
However you need to be careful when using Micra. Micra judges sperm count as being low if it is less than 20 million sperm/ml but the medical threshold for low sperm count is less than 15 million sperm/ml. This means that if a man receives a borderline subfertile result with Micra, he may still have a perfectly healthy sperm count. Another reason for caution when using Micra is that there is no indication of the accuracy of Micra’s results and the test is not certified.
Micra measures more indicators of sperm health than many other tests and it is reusable so you can monitor your sperm over a period of time. But make sure you do not place too much weight on these results and if you are in doubt, have your sperm tested by a medical professional at a fertility clinic.
Yo Home Sperm Test
The Yo home sperm test is similar to ExSeed as it provides a microscopic analysis using your smartphone and you can record a video of your sperm. Yo measures sperm count and motility, but it does not measure semen volume making it less comprehensive than ExSeed.
Compared to other products, Yo has an excellent accuracy level of over 97%. Yo has also achieved both CE and FDA certification which makes it a product you can trust to deliver accurate results.
The Yo testing system is also reusable with refill kits which you can purchase separately. This makes Yo a good option if you want to monitor changes in your sperm quality over a period of time.
Advantages of male home sperm tests
Disadvantages of male home sperm tests
What to consider before testing sperm count at home
Home sperm tests vs. fertility screening
Although home sperm tests have some advantages, a full fertility assessment conducted by a specialist is much more comprehensive and reliable. Only fully-trained and experienced professional will be able to accurately measure all sperm parameters and provide a detailed analysis and explanation of the individual man’s reproductive health.
Performed in controlled laboratory conditions, the outcomes of these fertility assessments are far more exact compared with any home-based testing.
Men wanting to start a family should firstly make positive lifestyle changes, with particular emphasis on diet.
After three months, a fertility assessment with a specialist is recommended to gauge overall reproductive health. Based on these results, it’s possible to identify any potential fertility problems and take appropriate treatment action where applicable.